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Currently indexing 8345 titles

Managing for Interactions between Local and Global Stressors of Ecosystems

Citation Information: Brown CJ, Saunders MI, Possingham HP, Richardson AJ (2013) Managing for Interactions between Local and Global Stressors of Ecosystems. PLoS ONE 8(6): e65765. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065765

Abstract: Global stressors, including climate change, are a major threat to ecosystems, but they cannot be halted by local actions. Ecosystem management is thus attempting to compensate for the impacts of global stressors by reducing local stressors, such as overfishing. This approach assumes that stressors interact additively or synergistically, whereby the combined effect of two stressors is at least the sum of their isolated effects. It is not clear, however, how management should proceed for antagonistic interactions among stressors, where multiple stressors do not have an additive or greater impact. Research to date has focussed on identifying synergisms among stressors, but antagonisms may be just as common. We examined the effectiveness of management when faced with different types of interactions in two systems – seagrass and fish communities – where the global stressor was climate change but the local stressors were different. When there were synergisms, mitigating local stressors delivered greater gains, whereas when there were antagonisms, management of local stressors was ineffective or even degraded ecosystems. These results suggest that reducing a local stressor can compensate for climate change impacts if there is a synergistic interaction. Conversely, if there is an antagonistic interaction, management of local stressors will have the greatest benefits in areas of refuge from climate change. A balanced research agenda, investigating both antagonistic and synergistic interaction types, is needed to inform management priorities.

Identifying the World's Most Climate Change Vulnerable Species: A Systematic Trait-Based Assessment of all Birds, Amphibians and Corals

Citation Information: Foden WB, Butchart SHM, Stuart SN, Vié J-C, Akçakaya HR, et al. (2013) Identifying the World's Most Climate Change Vulnerable Species: A Systematic Trait-Based Assessment of all Birds, Amphibians and Corals. PLoS ONE 8(6): e65427. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065427

Establishing an Ecologically Coherent Network of Marine Protected Areas in English Waters: What Does the Designation of Marine Conservation Zones under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 Add to the Picture?

Citation Information: Margherita Pieraccini (2013) Establishing an Ecologically Coherent Network of Marine Protected Areas in English Waters: What Does the Designation of Marine Conservation Zones under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 Add to the Picture?. Environmental Law Review: June 2013, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 104-120.

Abstract: Establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) is a key conservation strategy to safeguard marine biodiversity from anthropogenic pressures. Designing MPAs is, however, not a simple task due to the complexity and fluidity of marine social-ecological environments. How best can we plan MPAs in such environments with no well-defined social and natural boundaries and in a way that is procedurally just? This article attempts to consider these issues, focusing on the ongoing UK legal efforts in establishing an ecologically coherent network of MPAs under section 123 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. The network is to be made up of European marine sites, Ramsar sites, the marine component of Sites of Special Scientific Interest and marine conservation zones (MCZs), a new type of MPA established under section 116 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. The designation criteria of MCZs are considered in detail and compared with those of other marine protected sites to understand what MCZs are adding to existing MPAs designated under European and international law. The article also grounds the legal discussion by critically considering the ongoing implementation of the MCZs' designation.

A proposed method for assessing the extent of the seabed significantly affected by demersal fishing in the Greater North Sea

Citation Information: Diesing, M., Stephens, D., and Aldridge, J. A proposed method for assessing the extent of the seabed significantly affected by demersal fishing in the Greater North Sea. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fst066.

Abstract: The widespread impact of bottom towed fishing gear on benthic species and communities has long been recognized. The responses to a given intensity of fishing disturbance can be influenced by the extent to which these species and communities are preconditioned to disturbance by natural processes, in particular waves and currents. The advent of vessel monitoring system (VMS) and models of natural disturbance enable high-resolution and large-scale comparisons of fishing and natural disturbance. VMS data were employed to estimate the trawled area per 12 km by 12 km grid cell. We then quantified natural disturbance by estimating the number of days in a year the seabed was disturbed by tides and waves. As natural disturbance acts on large spatial scales, we assumed that each natural disturbance event affects whole grid cells. Frequencies could thus be translated into an area of impact, allowing us to compare fishing with natural disturbance. We show how such comparisons can be used to estimate the extent of different seabed substrate types significantly affected by demersal fishing. A measure of the probability that fishing disturbance exceeds natural disturbance provides one metric for identifying areas of significant trawling impact on seabed habitats and might be used to measure progress towards achieving good environmental status for sea-floor integrity within the context of the European Union's Marine Strategy Framework Directive. For more than half the seabed in the English sector of the Greater North Sea, the results suggest that disturbance attributable to demersal fishing exceeds natural disturbance based on data from the years 2006 to 2008. The imbalance between natural and fishing disturbance is greatest in muddy substrates and deep circalittoral habitats.

Ecosystem-based management objectives for the North Sea: riding the forage fish rollercoaster

Citation Information: Dickey-Collas, M., Engelhard, G. H., Rindorf, A., Raab, K., Smout, S., Aarts, G., van Deurs, M., Brunel, T., Hoff, A., Lauerburg R. A. M., Garthe, S., Haste Andersen, K., Scott, F., van Kooten, T., Beare, D., and Peck, M. A. Ecosystem-based management objectives for the North Sea: riding the forage fish rollercoaster. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fst075.

Abstract: The North Sea provides a useful model for considering forage fish (FF) within ecosystem-based management as it has a complex assemblage of FF species. This paper is designed to encourage further debate and dialogue between stakeholders about management objectives. Changing the management of fisheries on FF will have economic consequences for all fleets in the North Sea. The predators that are vulnerable to the depletion of FF are Sandwich terns, great skua and common guillemots, and to a lesser extent, marine mammals. Comparative evaluations of management strategies are required to consider whether maintaining the reserves of prey biomass or a more integral approach of monitoring mortality rates across the trophic system is more robust under the ecosystem approach. In terms of trophic energy transfer, stability, and resilience of the ecosystem, FF should be considered as both a sized-based pool of biomass and as species components of the system by managers and modellers. Policy developers should not consider the knowledge base robust enough to embark on major projects of ecosystem engineering. Management plans appear able to maintain sustainable exploitation in the short term. Changes in the productivity of FF populations are inevitable so management should remain responsive and adaptive.

Rapid increase in coral cover on an isolated coral reef, the Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve, north-western Australia

Citation Information: Marine and Freshwater Research 62(10) 1214-1220; Submitted: 21 January 2011 Accepted: 15 June 2011 Published: 29 September 2011

Authors: D. M. Ceccarelli, Z. T. Richards, M. S. Pratchett and C. Cvitanovic

Abstract: Against a background of coral reef ecosystem decline, understanding the propensity for coral communities to recover after acute disturbances is fundamental to forecasting and maintaining resilience. It may be expected that offshore reef ecosystems are less affected by anthropogenic disturbances compared with reefs closer to population centres, but that recovery may be slower on isolated reefs following disturbances. To test the hypothesis that community recovery is slow in isolated locations, we measured changes in coral cover and relative abundance of coral genera over a 4 year period (2005–09) at Ashmore Reef, north Western Australia, following severe bleaching. The percent cover of hard coral tripled, from 10.2% (±1.46 s.e.) in 2005 to 29.4% (±1.83 s.e.) in 2009 in all habitats (exposed and lagoonal) and depth zones (2–5 and 8–10 m), and the percent cover of soft corals doubled, from 4.5% (+0.63 s.e.) in 2005 to 8.3% (+1.4 s.e.) in 2009. Significant shifts in the taxonomic composition of hard corals were detected. Our results imply that coral recovery in isolated locations can occur rapidly after an initial delay in recruitment, presumably through the interacting effects of self-recruitment and reduced exposure to additive impacts such as coastal pollution.

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Coastal Informatics: Web Atlas Design and Implementation

Citation Information: DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-815-9; ISBN: 9781615208159

Authors: Dawn Wright, Ned Dwyer and Valerie Cummins

Description: The field of web-based coastal atlas informatics presents experts with a variety of unique considerations in an area where accuracy is of vital importance and proper representation of spatial data come to the forefront.

Coastal Informatics: Web Atlas Design and Implementation reviews and presents the latest developments in the emerging field of coastal web atlases through a series of case studies giving practical guidance on geographic data management and documentation through standards-based metadata, as well as making underlying geographic databases interoperable. Readers will find this book of practical use in Web atlas design, development and implementation, improving spatial thinking in the coastal context.

Adaptive Management: The U.S. Department of the Interior Applications Guide

Citation Information: Williams, B. K., and E. D. Brown. 2012. Adaptive Management: The U.S. Department of the Interior Applications Guide. Adaptive Management Working Group, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC.

Description: The Department of the Interior (DOI) Adaptive Management Working Group sponsored the development of this applications guide to provide, through examples, a better understanding of how adaptive management can be imple- mented in the field. The applications guide builds on the framework for adaptive management presented in the DOI Adaptive Management Technical Guide, and illustrates the elements of adaptive management with a large number of natural resource examples.

The Adaptive Management Working Group includes representatives from most DOI bureaus and offices. Writing teams of resource managers, technical experts, and other specialists worked with the group to identify and describe applications of adaptive management in four thematic areas: climate change, water resources, energy resources, and the interface of human and natural systems. These themes were chosen to illustrate the elements and processes of adaptive management because of their importance to DOI management responsibilities, the current interest in the thematic areas in using adaptive management, and the broad potential in each thematic area for learning-based management.

In writing this guide, we attempted to provide enough background about the elements of adaptive management implementation, and the challenges in implementing it, to give the reader a context for the resource examples. We also sought to provide enough detail in the examples to illustrate clearly the elements of adaptive management. Thus, the guide includes summaries of the principles and issues relevant to adaptive management, followed by descriptions of potential and actual applications in each of the four thematic areas. The intention was to provide enough detail about the actual process of adaptive management to be informative, while limiting the scope, complexity, and size of the docu- ment.

Guidelines for Management Planning of Protected Areas

Citation Information: Thomas, Lee and Middleton, Julie, (2003). Guidelines for Management Planning of Protected Areas. IUCN Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. ix + 79pp.

Description: What is a Management Plan for a protected area? Why is one needed?

In simple terms, a Management Plan is a document which sets out the management approach and goals, together with a framework for decision making, to apply in the protected area over a given period of time. Plans may be more or less prescriptive, depending upon the purpose for which they are to be used and the legal requirements to be met. The process of planning, the management objectives for the plan and the standards to apply will usually be established in legislation or otherwise set down for protected area planners.

Management Plans should be succinct documents that identify the key features or values of the protected area, clearly establish the management objectives to be met and indicate the actions to be implemented. They also need to be flexible enough to cater for unforeseen events which might arise during the currency of the plan. Related documents to the Management Plan may include more detailed zoning, visitor and business plans to guide its implementation. However the Management Plan is the prime document from which other plans flow, and it should normally take precedence if there is doubt or conflict.

The process of developing a Management Plan may be more or less complex de- pending upon the objectives of the protected area, the risks or threats to these objectives, the number of competing interests, the level of stakeholder1 involvement and the issues arising from outside the protected area. Whether the plan is simple or complex, sound planning principles should be applied to guide the planning process and ensure that the completed Management Plan is a thorough and useful document. These Guidelines, based on global best practice drawn from many areas around the world, represent a working framework for protected area planners to consider and adapt to their needs and circumstances.

Developing Objectives and Indicators for Marine Ecosystem-Based Management: International Review of Marine Ecosystem-Based Management Initiatives Throughout the World

Citation Information: Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Oceans and Coastal Management Report 2005-09; November 2005

Author: Jay Walmsley

Description: As part of the Eastern Scotian Shelf Integrated Management (ESSIM) Initiative, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has undertaken a program to develop a set of objectives and related indicators for the objectives- based management of the Eastern Scotian Shelf off Nova Scotia, Canada. Objectives-based management applies an outcomes-oriented management system that ensures planning, development and management of marine areas and resources in a manner that addresses the multiple needs and expectations of society. As part of the development process of the ESSIM ecosystem and human use objectives framework, an international review was initially undertaken in January 2004 to identify marine ecosystem-based initiatives globally and to analyze them for guidance on the development of ESSIM objectives (Walmsley, 2004).

This report now updates the 2004 report to include the most recent information on these initiatives by identifying ecosystem-based marine management initiatives throughout the world that have developed or were developing a system of objectives and indicators for management and reporting; evaluating the approaches taken to develop objectives and indicators; and analytically comparing the outcomes of each initiative to each other and to those of the ESSIM Initiative. Of the 23 ecosystem-based marine management initiatives identified in this review, only nine have developed objectives and/or indicators and none have yet achieved full implementation. The report provides valuable lessons learned and highlights the approaches to develop objectives and indicators, the predominant focus on ecosystem objectives vs. human use objectives, and the variation in terminology used in each initiative.

Rhode Island Ocean SAMP, DRAFT Roles and Responsibilities

Citation Information: Rhode Island Sea Grant, September 2008

Description: Purpose: To describe roles and responsibilities of Ocean SAMP Management Team, Advisory Groups, Task Forces, and Working Groups. Descriptions below are a starting point for comment and insights and are intended to refine content contained in the approved Ocean SAMP proposal of May 2008:

Tapping the Indicators Knowledge-base: “Lessons learned” by developers of environmental indicators

Citation Information: State of the Gulf Summit Steering Committee; August 2003

Author: Lauren Pidot

Description: Over the past fifteen years environmental indicator development has grown from the province of only a few farsighted groups to a subject that is of increasing interest to a large and diverse assortment of federal, regional, state, and local agencies and NGOs. The Gulf of Maine Council has recently initiated a project to develop an indicator-based “State of the Gulf” report and, aware that many other organizations have already completed similar projects, wishes to capitalize on the existing knowledge-base. This report was thus commissioned to compile the “lessons learned” by those who have previously delved into the territory of environmental indicator development. The experience and knowledge of individuals involved in the development, reporting, and application of environmental indicators throughout Canada and the U.S. was tapped into through a series of informal interviews. This report highlights both the disparate processes followed by those responsible for indicator development, and the wisdom these individuals have gathered through executing their projects. While the recommendations of indicator developers are included throughout, and a special section on recommendations for Gulf of Maine indicator development follows, this report is not intended to offer concrete answers to the question of how specific regions should go about developing indicators. It is instead intended to raise awareness of the various paths that groups have chosen when faced with similar challenges, and to summarize some of the knowledge that has been gained through following these paths.

A Management and Adaptation Planning Guide for Natural Resource Managers

Citation Information: Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Area Community (PIMPAC), 2006.

Description: This document was developed in 2006 for the Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Area Community (PIMPAC) to provide a step by step guide for Marine Managed Area (MMA) management planning. However, given more recent interest in incorporating climate change adaptation concepts into existing planning processes, this guidance has been updated/revised to include guidance on understanding climate change impacts in a site as well as how to include adaptation in the planning process.

This guide provides facilitators with a step-by-step process for facilitating the development of management and adaptation plans for locally managed areas. For this guidance, “locally managed areas” are defined areas with clear boundaries and managed primarily by a community and their partner agencies/organizations. For the purposes of this guidance (and specifically for community based adaptation planning), a locally managed area refers to a whole community and all it’s resources (both social and natural). However, the management planning and adaptation process can be used for a specific section or zone of the community under specific protections (e.g. a marine managed area, a protected watershed).

Marine Managed Areas: Best Practices for Boundary Making

Citation Information: Marine Boundary Working Group, Federal Geographic Data Committee, NOAA Coastal Services Center; June 2006

Editor: Gerald G. Esch, NOAA Coastal Services Center

Description: This handbook, written by the Federal Geographic Data Committee's (FGDC) Marine Boundary Working Group and sponsored by the National Marine Protected Areas Center, represents the current best practices for marine boundary delimitation.

Marine managed areas (MMA) are geographic areas designed to protect or manage resources within the marine environment, and their effectiveness is dependent on the development of sound boundaries. At the same time, the rise of geographic information systems (GIS) and other technologies in the management and use of marine resources is increasing the demand for digital boundaries.

This publication provides a short, useful guide—best practices—for writing boundary descriptions for federal, state, or local MMAs within U.S. waters and for developing those boundaries within a GIS environment.

The best practices presented within this handbook are listed under three broad categories, or steps, that outline the general boundary delimitation process and the knowledge that a boundary developer must draw upon. These steps include:

  • Step 1. Conceptualize the Marine Managed Area: This step explores the context and circumstances surrounding the creation of a new MMA that a boundary developer should examine as part of the development process.
  • Step 2. Describe the Marine Boundary: This step provides guidance for writing the description of a marine boundary.
  • Step 3. Generate the Digital Boundary: This step points boundary developers to authoritative data sources and provides sound practices for developing, documenting, and disseminating digital boundary files.

Marine Zoning in Saint Kitts and Nevis: A Path Towards Sustainable Management of Marine Resources

Citation Information: Agostini, V. N., S. W. Margles, S. R. Schill, J. E. Knowles, and R. J. Blyther. 2010. Marine Zoning in Saint Kitts and Nevis: A Path Towards Sustainable Management of Marine Resources. The Nature Conservancy.

Description: Human activities are placing increased and often conflicting demands on coastal and marine waters worldwide. As a result, important coastal areas are under intense pressure, threatening the biological diversity of marine habitats and the ecosystem services they provide, such as coastal protection, food security, tourism amenities and biodiversity protection. Marine zoning, one of the possible outcomes of a marine spatial planning process, has emerged recently as an approach to address these issues. The case for marine zoning is particularly strong in the Caribbean, but there are few examples to date of comprehensive marine zoning for tropical island nations.

This project initiated a marine spatial planning process and developed a draft marine zoning design for a small island nation in the Eastern Caribbean. St. Kitts and Nevis was chosen as the project site because it met a set of selection criteria, including that its government was aware of marine zoning as a useful management approach and was interested in applying it in their country.

The goal of this project was to lay the groundwork for future implementation of marine zoning in St. Kitts and Nevis by assisting in the development of a marine zoning design and providing a set of tools that could inform this and other management efforts. The project had two primary guiding principles: (1) rely on the best available science for making decisions and (2) engage stakeholders at all possible levels. The project team used the following process:

A review of Ocean Zoning tools and Species distribution modelling methods for Marine Spatial Planning

Citation Information: F., Fyhr, Å., Nilsson, A., Nyström Sandman; A review of Ocean Zoning tools and Species distribution modelling methods for Marine Spatial Planning; May 2013

Description: Since there exist a vast number of technical possibilities for both species distri-bution modelling (SDM) and decision support tools for ocean zoning, this re- view seeks to provide its readers with an overview of some of them. We also discuss the usefulness of different decision support tools for ocean zoning in the LIFE+ Nature & Biodiversity project “Innovative approaches for marine bio- diversity monitoring and assessment of conservation status of nature values in the Baltic Sea” (Project acronym -MARMONI).

The Portuguese National Strategy for Integrated Coastal Zone Management as a spatial planning instrument to climate change adaptation in the Minho River Estuary (Portugal NW-Coastal Zone)

Citation Information: Environmental Science & Policy, Volume 33, November 2013, Pages 76–96

Authors: Rute Pinto, Filomena Cardoso Martins

Abstract: Climate change is one of the greatest threats to coastal zones. Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) considers the interaction between socioeconomic activities and environmental requirements to natural resources use in those coastal zones. It must now include measures to climate change adaptation, particularly directed to the most vulnerable areas such as estuaries, thus constituting a key component of spatial planning. This study aims to: (i) evaluate the integration of the concern of climate change adaptation in the Portuguese National Strategy for ICZM (PNSICZM), while a important spatial planning instrument at national level; and (ii) realize how this integration influences the management of the potential impacts of climate change at local level, in a temperate estuary, namely the Minho River Estuary (MRE) (located in NW-Portugal coastal zone). We verified that the PNSICZM integrates, both directly and indirectly, the concern of climate change adaptation. The PNSICZM highlights the need of climate change issue be integrated in coastal management and delivers a set of measures contributing to the effort of climate change adaptation and its guidelines must be included in the Spatial Planning Instruments (SPI) at regional and local level. In this context, the SPI covering the MRE must be adjusted to the PNSICZM guidelines in order to promote a planned adaptation of this estuary and of its adjacent coastal zone to the potential impacts of climate change.

Pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan - Consultation Paper

Citation Information: The Scottish Government, May 2013; ISBN: 978-1-78256-624-3

Description: The purpose of this Planning Issues and Options Paper is to provide information on work that is being carried out to develop a non-statutory pilot marine spatial plan for the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters area. It is very important that this planning process has input from the people, industries and organisations that use, value or are involved in protecting this area. This paper provides an opportunity for stakeholder and community consultation on the suggested approach to developing the marine spatial plan and seeks your views to help shape the plan and develop a strategy that is fit for purpose.

As this is an early stage in the planning process, this paper is not a draft version of the marine spatial plan, but sets out suggested planning options to support the preparation of the draft pilot marine spatial plan.

The paper is detailed and covers a lot of issues. A description of the main sections of the report is given below to help navigate through the document to areas that you may wish to comment on. Information is also provided on how to respond to the consultation in Section 2.

Governance of Marine Protected Areas: An Approach Using Public Participation Geographic Information Systems - The MARGov Project

Citation Information: Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering B 2 (2013) 25-35

Authors: Marco Painho, Tiago H. Moreira de Oliveira and Lia Vasconcelos

Abstract: The MARGov Project consisted in strengthening the interaction among the Professor Luiz Saldanha Marine Park stakeholders, and to collaboratively construct, with social and institutional actors, a governance model for the Marine Park, located in the municipality of Sesimbra (Portugal). To pursue this goal, a PPGIS (public participation geographic information system) was developed, allowing the interaction, discussion and public participation of the stakeholders and actors involved. This PPGIS emerged as a crowdsourcing tool, with the purpose of assisting the georeferenced contributes from the local users of the Marine Park, regarding several relevant subjects, such as pollution, economic activities, opportunities and threats to the Marine Park, providing visual, analytical, and demonstrative qualities.

Identifying optimal feeding habitat and proposed Marine Protected Areas (pMPAs) for the black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) suggests a need for complementary management approaches

Citation Information: Biological Conservation, Volume 164, August 2013, Pages 73–81

Authors: Lorraine S. Chivers, Mathieu G. Lundy, Kendrew Colhoun, Stephen F. Newton, Jonathan D.R. Houghton, Neil Reid

Abstract: Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are an important conservation tool. For marine predators, recent research has focused on the use of Species Distribution Models (SDMs) to identify proposed sites. We used a maximum entropy modelling approach based on static and dynamic oceanographic parameters to determine optimal feeding habitat for black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) at two colonies during two consecutive breeding seasons (2009 and 2010). A combination of Geographic Positioning System (GPS) loggers and Time-Depth Recorders (TDRs) attributed feeding activity to specific locations. Feeding areas were <30 km from the colony, <40 km from land, in productive waters, 25–175 m deep. The predicted extent of optimal habitat declined at both colonies between 2009 and 2010 coincident with declines in reproductive success. Whilst the area of predicted optimal habitat changed, its location was spatially stable between years. There was a close match between observed feeding locations and habitat predicted as optimal at one colony (Lambay Island, Republic of Ireland), but a notable mismatch at the other (Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland). Designation of an MPA at Rathlin may, therefore, be less effective than a similar designation at Lambay perhaps due to the inherent variability in currents and sea state in the North Channel compared to the comparatively stable conditions in the central Irish Sea. Current strategies for designating MPAs do not accommodate likely future redistribution of resources due to climate change. We advocate the development of new approaches including dynamic MPAs that track changes in optimal habitat and non-colony specific ecosystem management.


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